University entry requirements

University entry requirements

To be eligible to apply for university, South Australian students must:

  • complete the SACE
  • complete at least 90 credits of SACE Stage 2. Of the 90 credits, at least 60 must be from 20-credit Tertiary Admissions Subjects (TAS) and the other 30 credits from TAS and up to 20 credits of Recognised Studies
  • complete any prerequisite requirements for your chosen university courses
  • comply with rules regarding subject combinations
  • obtain an Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR).

Applications for university and TAFE courses are handled by the South Australian Tertiary Admissions Centre (SATAC).

More information

Tertiary Admissions Subjects

A Tertiary Admissions Subject (TAS) is a SACE Stage 2 subject that has been approved by the universities and TAFE SA as providing appropriate preparation for tertiary studies.

Students are required to study a minimum number of TAS credits to be eligible to receive an Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) or TAFE SA Selection Score.

Most SACE subjects are recognised Tertiary Admissions Subjects; however, there are some that are not recognised by the universities for the purposes of calculating a student's ATAR.

The following subjects are not recognised TAS:

  • Community Studies
  • Modified Subjects
  • local programs.

If you are unsure whether or not a subject is TAS, check SATAC publications for the Tertiary Entrance booklet, which lists the TAS status of all SACE Stage 2 subjects.

Subject combinations

Precluded combinations for SACE completion

Two subjects are a precluded combination for SACE completion if they are defined by the SACE Board as having significant overlap in terms of content. They cannot both count towards SACE completion. You can find out more at:

Precluded combinations for ATAR (Australian Tertiary Admission Rank)

Two subjects are a precluded combination if they are defined by the universities and TAFE SA as having significant overlap in content.

They cannot both count towards the ATAR or TAFE SA Selection Score. For more information about precluded subject combinations, refer to SATAC publications for the Tertiary Entrance booklet.

Counting restrictions for ATAR

Counting restrictions are used to limit the number of credits that can count towards a university aggregate and the ATAR in a certain subject area.

This is to ensure students study a broad range of subjects. For example, a learning area might have eight 10-credit subjects available, but the universities might set a counting restriction of 20 credits, which means only two 10-credit subjects can count towards the ATAR.

You will find more information about counting restrictions in the Tertiary Entrance booklet at SATAC publications.

Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR)

Receiving an ATAR is important if you want to apply for university.

The ATAR is an indicator of how well a student has performed relative to other secondary school students across Australia.

It is calculated based on your university aggregate and then reported on your Tertiary Entrance Statement (provided you are eligible to receive one). An ATAR is a figure between 0 and 99.95.

More information